Prisoner charged in killing of corrections officer back in court

The second prisoner charged with killing a correctional officer in the antiquated Maryland House of Correction will return to court Thursday for a second day of a hearing to determine whether he is competent to stand trial.

Whether Lamar (also spelled Lamarr) Cornelius "Junebug" Harris 41, is mentally unfit to stand trial in the July 2006 attack on Cpl. David McGuinn will be up to Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Paul A. Hackner. Charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy, Harris would face the possibility of a death sentence if convicted.

A state psychologist who found him competent told the judge Wednesday that she evaluated Harris last December and again about two weeks ago. Although Harris expressed some "bizarre" ideas and did not have all of his facts correct on what would happen if he was found mentally unfit for trial, he was not schizophrenic, she said.

But a psychiatrist hired by the defense found Harris mentally unfit for trial. Evaluations dating to 2008 made the same conclusion. The defense is expected to wrap up Thursday.

People found mentally unfit for trial are treated and periodically re-evaluated for a new decision on whether they are competent to be tried.

Harris is serving three consecutive life sentences, plus more time for a weapons violation, for his role in the 1989 execution-style murder of two people in a South Baltimore park. He has been convicted of at least two more violent crimes in prison, including assaulting a correctional officer, which added a year to his sentence.

Earlier this year, a jury convicted Lee Edward Stephens, 33, of first-degree murder in the deadly attack on McGuinn but did not sentence him to death. Instead, it added another life sentence to the one he was serving for a 1997 murder.

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